Toronto to get WNBA expansion team in 2026: reports

Fiifi Frimpong, New York Daily News on

Published in Basketball

NEW YORK — The WNBA‘s expansion continues with the league soon to get its first team outside of the United States.

The league intends to add a team in Toronto that will begin play in the 2026 season, according to reports.

The team will be owned by holding company Kilmer Sports Inc., headed by Toronto billionaire Larry Tanenbaum. The 79-year-old businessman is a minority owner and chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors.

The new squad will be the 14th team in the WNBA. Golden State’s expansion franchise — the 13th team — is set to join the WNBA in 2025.

An official announcement is expected May 23, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which was first on the Toronto expansion news.


Toronto expansion reports come a day after the WNBA officially announced a full league-wide charter program that will be phased in beginning with the start of the 2024 regular season. The program will be primarily operated by Delta Air Lines.

Moments before last month’s draft in New York, WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert mentioned Toronto as a potential suitor for a league expansion team. She also said she’s “pretty confident” in the league having 16 teams by the start of the 2028 season.

Engelbert previously mentioned Philadelphia, Portland, Denver, Nashville and South Florida as possible suitors to land a WNBA franchise in the future.

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